PC gaming is what it is today because of modding, but what the gaming industry at large is today extremely unfriendly towards is modders. Chief amongst the targets for scorn are those franchises that have removed mod support as they've iterated. Battlefield, once a series defined by its modding community, has been bereft of tools since Bad Company 2. Its absence in the third game proper has meant the community haven't been able to play around with one of the most powerful engines on the market, a sore spot for many.
And DICE's comments at the GDC Europe are hardly going to mend bridges.
Gamasutra are reporting that
Karl Magnus Troedsson, general manager at DICE, said this was down to concerns about hackers: "We're afraid of all the things that can come with releasing the code."
It's true that opening up a game's code will allow people to discover exploits within the system. This is why no one has ever released a set of mod tools for a game that allows multiplayer. Wait a second. I mean, just look at DICE's technology competitors - Epic, Crytek, and Valve. Unreal Tournament allows mods, Crysis allow mods, and Valve's biggest multiplayer game, Counter-Strike, is a mod.
Is it really impossible to release mod tools and not crack open your entire server network to exploits or to run vanilla servers that don't allow access to modded games?
Troedsson reportedly also went on to say that DICE wouldn't want to release tools on just the PC and deny them to the console crowd. Bethesda didn't seem to mind when they released Skyrim's tools to the PC audience.
So, Battlefield 3 mod tools are possible but aren't going to happen any time soon. Good thing we put it on the list of things we want to see in Battlefield 4; DICE can get started on that early.